Thursday, May 15, 2008

My first foray into public Bush-Bashing, sorta

For almost 8 years I have steadfastly avoided publicly bashing President Bush for his apparent (well, sometimes obvious) lack of brains at times. There are dozens of websites devoted to “Bushisms”, the abuses of the English language perpetrated by the President during his speeches and public remarks. Listening to him sometimes, it can be hard to fathom that he graduated from Yale and Harvard and at one time flew fighters in the Air Guard (although he scored the lowest acceptable passing grade on the pilot's written aptitude test) and is ostensibly the most powerful person in the world.

"Removing Saddam Hussein was the right decision early in my presidency, it is the right decision now, and it will be the right decision ever."—Washington, D.C., March 12, 2008

But out of respect for the office of the Presidency I’ve tried my best to not join the late-night hosts and comedians and, well, pretty much everybody, in continually trashing George Bush. But after today, even I have to ask the question:

Mister President, are you just plain stupid?

I ask this because today I heard word that you are planning on visiting with the king of Saudi Arabia next week, and when you meet you’re planning on asking him to get with his OPEC cronies and have them start producing more oil. That’s just effing ridiculous.

We only import about 22% of our oil from OPEC countries. Our number one source of imported oil is Canada, sir. That would be the large country to our north where they look like us but have less crime and better education. Our number two import source is Mexico. That would be the country below Texas whose chief export to America is Mexicans.

With oil approaching $120.00 a barrel (it was about $19.00 a barrel 10 years ago), why would we want OPEC, who keeps jacking the price up, to produce more oil for us to spend all our money on? Why should we give it to filthy rich sheiks to buy a diamond-encrusted Mercedes or an Airbus flying palace?

Mister President, how about you ask AMERICA to boost production of oil? That’s a capital idea, sir. How about we open up ANWR to drilling? How about someone kick Big Awl ™ in the ass and get them to channel some of that obscene profit fundage into building new refineries? And how about we start taking advantage of all the oil sitting just offshore that no one will go and get for fear of reprisals and boo-hoo from tree huggers?

According to the US Department of Energy, US oil production has fallen approximately 40% since 1985, while US consumption has grown more than 30%. We’re using more while making less and getting it elsewhere. But we don’t have to get it elsewhere. The Outer Continental Shelf of the United States contains over 44 billion barrels of oil, and 232 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. However, eighty-five percent of the outer continental shelf is off limits to domestic exploration.

Digest that a moment, would you?

That’s 44 billion barrels of oil and 232 trillion cubic feet of natural gas out there just off the coast, and 85% of it is off limits to domestic production due to environmental laws and policies. In the Gulf of Mexico, there is enough natural gas to heat 60 million homes for another 160 years. But more than 85% of the coastal waters adjacent to the lower 48 states, extending up 200 miles from our shores, are off limits to oil exploration. And as we use our own resources, it will buy us time to work on solutions to our energy needs other than fossil fuels, provided that Big Awl™ allows that to happen.

Of course, there are less-scrupulous nation-states out there who are more than willing to siphon off our oil while we worry about making a spill, nations like China. China has an environmental record so dubious that athletes are afraid to attend the summer Olympics for fear of not being able to breathe in Beijing’s polluted smogfest. And as I’ve said before, China has contracted with Cuba to drill for oil right off Key West…..that’s our oil, Mister President. Oil that we ourselves should be taking advantage of, if only we could circumvent the left’s environmentalist lobby.

An for all you environmentalist granola-heads out there who are now sticking pins in voodoo dolls that look like yours truly, I bring you a case in point: Australia. The Aussies have been drilling their own offshore deposits for 40 years without a big nasty mishap the likes of which you would have us all believe lurk under every oil well. And here at home as a matter of fact when Hurricane Katrina hit, only 86 of the gulf region’s 4,000 rigs and platforms were damaged or destroyed, and most of those were older rigs on top of unproductive wells. So our existing offshore infrastructure was only minimally impacted by the sixth-strongest Atlantic hurricane in recorded history.

Don’t go branding me an Enemy of the Environment, either. I’ve watched bald eagles soar above me in Acadia National Park and gazed in wonder directly into the eyes of humpback whales off Stellwagen Bank. I don’t drive a mammoth SUV and I rescue stray animals at work and set them free, much to the bemusement of co-workers who wonder why I stop work to help lizards, tree frogs, and even a mouse once.

The sooner we stop suckling at OPEC’s teats the better. Asking them to produce more just keeps us at their beck and call as they dangle that carrot at us and then beat us with the stick of exorbitant prices. And if we allow other nations to suck our own fields dry, we’ll never get off the teat. Time to stand up and wean, and in the process become energy-independent. C’mon, Dubya…do the smart thing even though I know you made millions by being a part of Big Awl™ yourself. January 21st is coming fast and you're running out of time to do something intelligent.

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